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Wednesday
May192010

The United-Continental merger is not yet a sure thing

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported today that the planned merger of Continental Airlines into United Airlines could face turbulence during Congressional analysis of the subject, and also during the ultimate decision, which will be made by the Justice DepartmentCongress has only an advisory role in the process, but has already scheduled hearings to that effect.  The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights will take a look at what the planned merger will mean for air travelers, next week.  The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee will do a similar analysis next month.

Democrat members of Congress have expressed concern that the merger will result in fewer routes and higher fares for air travelers.  But a union representing United Airlines pilots believes that job security for its pilots will increase because the two airlines, as presently constituted, have very little route overlap anyway.  This lack of route overlap suggests that fewer routes will not be a significant consequence of the planned merger, if it is approved.

Lawmakers from Texas have noted that because the resulting airline would be based in Chicago, Houston, where Continental is based, would lose jobs.  And despite the reported lack of route overlap between United and Continental, unions representing flight attendants and baggage handlers nevertheless believe some of their 26,000 jobs (at both United at Continental) will be lost if the merger is approved.

Public relations concerns are also important to the two airlines.  Experts say United and Continental will work to ensure the hearings do not descend into anarchy.  And all this economic analysis is completely aside from the legal hurdles the merger will face.

United and Continental have jointly launched a website explaining the planned merger in greater detail.

related story

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original story (Roll Call Magazine)

United-Continental joint website

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Reader Comments (2)

hello,I'm from The American University of Beirut

My thesis cited your post, if that violated your copyright, delight send an email to with me.

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua Mompoint

To Joshua: You certainly can cite from my website in your thesis. I am flattered. I license my writing under Creative Commons licenses so that others feel free to create links to this site on their own websites.

I wish I could refer you to the Capitol Hill news source where I got some of the information for this post. But it appears that the magazine Roll Call has removed this article from their website.

In any case, good luck with your thesis!

October 31, 2010 | Registered CommenterJared Scott

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